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Your Trusted Employment Partner!

Helping law firms and corporate legal departments in the Washington, DC metropolitan area overcome their staffing challenges in a cost-effective and seamless manner is our ultimate goal. Legal E provides outstanding legal staffing solutions by offering the highest degree of professionalism, integrity and talent-driven human capital. For job seekers, Legal E offers the guidance of our expert team of recruiters and access to the area's top legal jobs through our online Career Portal. No matter what your employment needs are, Legal E is ready at a moment's notice to provide the solution!

Recent Publications

Recent Publications

RECRUITING LAW FIRM MANAGEMENT AND STAFF

RECRUITING LAW FIRM MANAGEMENT AND STAFF

3/24/2017 12:00:00 AM EDT
yesterday

RECRUITING LAW FIRM MANAGEMENT AND STAFF:

Criteria Shifts as Market Surges

By Jeanette Derby | 03.24.2017

As advancements in technology and increased globalization force accelerated change, law firms are reevaluating and restructuring their internal processes and operations at a rapid pace.  This dynamic has a tremendous effect on legal professionals as firms amend their traditional roles for “new and improved” versions of support staff.  This new legal landscape is also altering how buyers of legal services utilize attorneys under alternative fee arrangements.  Yet, with all of these changes, succession planning for executive leadership remains elusive as impending retirements and the reinvention of administrative management roles take hold.  

Historically, law firm executives gained their management status as a result of hard work and dedication, earning a steady upward progression in title, responsibility and pay within the firm.  Today, the paradigms for management structures are shifting and shaping new talent criteria.  As law firms began to adopt corporate management structures to include C-levels within headquarter offices, these upper management decision-makers were becoming strikingly influential, especially in the recruiting of other management professionals.  It is no longer uncommon for firms to strategically seek top-level management candidates without prior legal experience.  In many cases, advanced degrees, not law firm experience, are the absolute requirement.  In addition, many high-level management functions in branch offices are being eliminated or restructured to mid- level management in an effort to decrease the overall responsibility and autonomy of the branch office. 

To further re-shape the long-standing archetype, many law firms have reassigned all of their recruitment functions to a centralized location -- most typically to the HQ.  While there is practicality associated with consolidation, the centralization (and systematization) of recruiting removes the personal feel for the candidates and, with it, the value-added services offered by local, market-specific agencies who understand current salaries, candidate supply, and hiring trends.  Adding to the inherent challenges of remote recruiting, the employment market in many regions has rebounded significantly.  As a result, swift processing of candidates and intense relationship nurturing to identify and entice top talent is the name of the game.  Firms interested in securing the best candidates should focus efforts on building relationships with local recruiters.

As organizations move toward hiring initiatives focused on competencies versus traditional work history, veteran industry recruiters possess a unique vantage point and insight into the overall streamlining of legal roles and, most especially, with regard to upper management.  With law firm executive roles transitioning, it is a critical time to examine short and long-term needs and recognize that management shifts can greatly impact culture and reputation – notably in the areas of employee engagement, morale and talent attraction. 

Firms striving to ensure superior effectiveness and organizational stability should embrace all resources available in order to attract, recruit and retain thriving professionals in this extremely competitive market.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR                                

Jeanette Derby has specialized in legal staffing for over 3 decades and is a distinguished business leader in the Greater Washington, DC Area.  While responsible for five successful start-up ventures, Jeanette has dedicated her career to finding successful connections between job seekers and hiring managers!

Find her on LinkedIn: Jeanette Derby

Legal E’s Mission: Then and Now

Legal E’s Mission: Then and Now

1/26/2017 12:00:00 AM EST
a month ago

Legal E’s Mission: Then and Now

01.19.2017

January is an ideal time to reflect on past achievements, set goals for the coming year and essentially reexamine your Company’s mission.  Successes are often more easily identified upon reflection and are ultimately a huge motivator.  For Legal E Employment Partners, being honored by LegalTimes Best of DC for its staffing and placement contributions to the local legal industry for five consecutive years is a terrific incentive to strive even higher.  True to this distinction, the Legal E associates work tirelessly toward a strong commitment to excellence and are best known for their consultative partnership-building, forward-thinking measures, and focus on orchestrating positive results rather than revenues. 

While serving law firms and corporate legal departments as they vie for top talent, our team has seen the staffing industry struggle with administrative and economic challenges in response to recent employment regulations.  For Legal E, our dedication to risk-adverse processes only heightens our resolve and reinforces our commitment to providing the utmost due diligence throughout the candidate placement process.  We have seen that more and more legal hiring managers are now requiring absolute transparency to avoid any consequences of co-employment issues or implications.  We encourage all hiring managers to devote time to personally know their service providers; understand their due diligence and compliance practices; and inquire about background check policies -- including adverse actions. We also recommend that hiring managers thoroughly read contracts carefully before signing and require documentation as needed (e.g. wage theft forms, business licenses, insurance certificates, etc.).  

Responding to the recent legislative actions were not the only hiring challenges in 2016 for law firms.  Legal support roles shifted greatly due to advancements in technology and the continued offering of alternative fee arrangements to attract clients.  As firms began to pursue candidates with more varied professional backgrounds, Legal E had anticipated this trend several years prior and offered several promotional programs to attract and support the creative placement of non-traditional candidates as well as highly experienced legal professionals in cost-effective and seamless ways.  To further the innovative support, Legal E presents Staff Professional Development Training courses delivered on-site by an eight-year training veteran with outstanding reviews and exceptional results.

Legal E’s enduring business model offers contract/temporary staffing and direct hire placement of all legal personnel: administrative, technical, paralegal, attorney, and management. We remain steadfast in our mission to provide systems integrity, innovative staffing solutions and positive results.  Moreover, as the industry continues to evolve, we proactively offer insight on hiring trends and advocate for process transparency to ensure the best possible staffing partnerships for our clients.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR                                

Jeanette Derby has specialized in legal staffing for over 3 decades and is a distinguished business leader in the Greater Washington, DC Area.  While responsible for five successful start-up ventures, Jeanette has dedicated her career to finding successful connections between job seekers and hiring managers!

Find her on LinkedIn: Jeanette Derby

 

RESUME BUILDING TIPS

RESUME BUILDING TIPS

1/19/2017 12:00:00 AM EST
2 months ago

RESUME BUILDING TIPS

Your resume is your calling card for seeking employment. Its sole purpose is to get you an interview; therefore, presentation and content are both extremely important. The old saying “You never have a second chance to make a first impression” cannot be more true when it comes to resumes. Your resume is not only your first impression, it becomes a permanent part of your personnel file when you are hired. Bearing these facts in mind, we offer some tips and suggestions regarding using this tool to get the interview, pass the reference evaluation, and maintain employability. We hope this improves your job hunting experience!

  1. The first impression of your resume is its format and readability. Law firms typically like traditional formats, e.g., name and contact information either centered or justified to the left, followed by work history in bullet format, in a descending order beginning with the most recent. 
  2. When using bullets to outline your duties and responsibilities, be sure to make your descriptions interesting starting with action verbs, proper tense, and avoid redundancy. 
  3. Use one easy-to-read font along with enlarging, bolding and italicizing important details such as your name, contact information, employers, titles and month/year employment dates.  Please ensure your email address is appropriate for professional use. 
  4. Only use an Objective if you plan to tailor it every time you submit a resume. As a general rule, if accompanied by a cover letter or submitted by a recruiter, leave out the Objective and allow your cover letter or recruiter to introduce your employment goals. 
  5. There is no need for a Summary, generally noting soft skills such as “strong organizational skills,” “team player,” “technically oriented,” etc. Instead, tailor your job descriptions/responsibilities to demonstrate tasks requiring these traits. 
  6. Choose your job descriptions carefully, making them informative yet concise regarding tasks and responsibilities. A helpful hint for job seekers is to remember that experience is the most important component of a resume, and hiring professionals use this information to compare the tasks and responsibilities listed to those they are actively seeking. 
  7. When describing your experience, utilize action verbs. Action verbs like created, implemented, developed, coordinated, and provided tend to demonstrate positive activity and successful contributions to the hiring professional. 
  8. Include any validated accomplishments towards the end of the job description. 
  9. If tenure is brief in two or more positions, it is suggested to include your reasons for leaving on the last line of the job description, especially when following attorneys, layoffs or mergers are the catalysts. Remember to be consistent when listing reasons for leaving on application if mentioned on your resume.
  10. Always indicate in the title when the status is/was a contract or temporary position. This needs to be consistent when listing titles and reasons for leaving.  Be sure to note the employment agency for verification. 
  11. In this traditional format, Skills, Associations and Awards should be placed at the end of your resume. Since this section will list proper names, be sure to know the correct spelling, capitalization, spacing and dashes, e.g., “iManage” and “PowerPoint”. When unsure, check the web site(s) to seek clarification. 
  12. It is perfectly acceptable to state References Provided Upon Request. Another option is to attach an additional page listing references including names, titles, contact information and the relationships. Be sure to confirm that the contact information is current and inform each contact of potential callers. 
  13. Whenever possible, keep your resume to two pages or less. Tip: Try changing font sizes, font styles, and/or margins to accomplish this, though beware of using font sizes and styles that may be difficult to read. 
  14. The second page should have a page number and your name, or first initial/last name, for easy identification from other resumes. e.g.: J. Doe – Page 2
  15. All employment history should include months with years. Increasingly, law firms often reject resumes without months and be sure that your employment dates are accurate. If there is ANY question, call former employers or review past pay-stubs for clarification. The legal community relies on employment (and salary) verifications in addition to references. Some firms conduct background checks which verify ALL information as far back as the information is attainable. Remember this document becomes part of your permanent employment record and any discrepancies can lead to termination at ANY time during your active employment with the firm. 
  16. Proofread, proofread, proofread!!! Here are some helpful proofreading tips: First, remember to use spell check. Second, read your resume out-loud; this often spots grammatical errors and/or missing words. Third, read your resume backwards (yes, backwards) to catch typos you may have missed. Lastly, have a trusted friend proofread. We suggest printing and reviewing for formatting consistency. 
  17. Follow the directions offered for submitting resumes. When a firm requests resumes transmitted via e-mail, proceed accordingly. Do not stray from instructions or call unless invited. 
  18. When sending your resume as an e-mail attachment, use a Word document and utilize spell check for both the e-mail and cover letter. Tip: Set the formatting for 100% zoom, Print Layout view and turn off Show/Hide Formatting Marks for the best online presentation possible.

THE SUCCESSFUL INTERVIEW

THE SUCCESSFUL INTERVIEW

1/19/2017 12:00:00 AM EST
2 months ago

THE SUCCESSFUL INTERVIEW

There are many factors that contribute to a successful interview. The number one key element is preparation. Listed below are some specific tips on enhancing your interviewing experience.

Before the interview:

  • Gather as much information regarding the position as possible 
  • Identify the individual(s) conducting the interview and review their information on LinkedIn or the Firm web site
  • Research the organization through Internet web sites and recent articles 
  • Bring at least one resume for each interviewer plus two pens and a notepad in a professional business folder 
  • Choose your attire carefully and prepare in advance to have clean, wrinkle-free clothing.  We suggest solid colors which are less distracting. 
  • Darker, conservative attire with polished shoes is expected in an interview 
  • Develop and rehearse a concise, three sentence answer to "Tell me about yourself." 
  • If job description is available, review duties and criteria as it relates to your experience, skill set and accomplishments to prepare answers in an effort to convey how you would be an asset  
  • Prepare answers regarding your qualifications, achievements, tenure, strengths, challenges, etc. 
  • Prepare 2-4 questions regarding the position, responsibilities, objectives, team, challenges, and the overall goals for the position. 
  • Use your recruiter to educate yourself, practice your delivery, and discuss challenges 
  • Keep your recruiter informed of any changes, i.e., salary, position, scheduled leave, other opportunities 
  • Plan ample time for the commute and security check-in, application, testing (if applicable) and one hour for each interviewer; bring photo ID for security
  • Know your exact base salaries (and total compensation with OT and bonuses) of all past positions 
  • Know the exact dates of employment; verify with former employer when necessary 
  • Prepare a reference sheet with current contact information and inform your references they will be contacted
  • Interviewers/clients are seeking flexible and accommodating personalities; avoid asking about salary/bonuses, benefits, promotions/growth, and work stations unless interviewer brings up these topics

 

During the interview:

  • Arrive no more than 10-15 minutes early (not prior) and tardiness is not acceptable 
  • If you are running late, call your recruiter immediately to inform them and provide reason
  • Do not chew gum, eat candy, or bring a drink 
  • Remember to turn off cell phones and any electronic devices before entering the office 
  • Never discuss the position you are interviewing for with anyone (especially at the interviewing firm/company) other than your interviewer(s); always assume confidentiality is required 
  • Do not bring friends or family members to the interview; your "ride" should wait outside the building 
  • Fill out the application and any paperwork in its entirety; do not write "see resume" 
  • Use a firm handshake and look directly into your interviewer's eyes 
  • Greet your interviewer with confidence using his/her name 
  • Demonstrate your focus with a calm, relaxed, demeanor and continued eye contact 
  • Listen carefully to the questions; respond with clear, succinct answers (no more than two or three sentences per answer)
  • Use their vague questions as an opportunity to highlight your demonstrated strengths and contributions
  • Ask specific questions to gain an understanding of the goals and responsibilities of the position 
  • Gain an understanding of the organization and environment through observations and prior research
  • Do not look at a list of your questions if you can avoid it; you want to seem more natural and engaged
  • If all of your prepared questions were answered throughout the interview, you can mention how thorough the interviewer was and that all of your questions have been addressed 
  • Close by expressing your confidence to succeed in the position as well as your continued interest to pursue the opportunity

 

Follow up:

  • Immediately after the interview, provide your recruiter with feedback 
  • Prepare, proof, and send thank you notes via email and bcc your recruiter (ask recruiter to proofread the note prior if desired) 
  • If you were not given a business card, your recruiter can verify/provide spelling of interviewer(s) name, company, and address as well as email address
  • Follow up through your recruiter; never call the client directly

Legal E Receives Top Honors in Best of Legal Times Readers Survey

Legal E Receives Top Honors in Best of Legal Times Readers Survey

11/30/2015 12:00:00 AM EST
1 years ago

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 1, 2015

Washington, D.C., Legal E Employment Partners, a prominent legal-staffing provider in the Washington Metropolitan Area, is proud to announce that it has received top honors as DC’s Best Legal & Litigation Support Staffing firm and also ranks amongst the Best DC Based Legal Recruiters.  This is Legal E’s fourth consecutive year to be recognized by the "Best of LegalTimes" Reader's Ranking survey. 

"It is an exciting time for Legal E and we are extremely honored to receive top distinction as 2015’s Best Legal & Litigation Support Staffing organization for the DC area and also to be recognized for Best DC Based Legal Recruiter,” says Jeanette Derby, President and Founder of Legal E.  “To be acknowledged in this way by the legal industry over four consecutive years has been a source of immense pride. This accomplishment is truly a reflection of the passion for excellence demonstrated by our exceptional staff who works tirelessly to provide positive results for our business partners,” says Derby.  “On behalf of the entire Legal E team, we would also like to thank our loyal client base and the LegalTimes voters who have extended endless encouragement and countless opportunities to prove our commitment of excellence.  For that, we are truly grateful and will remain devoted to earn their continued trust and support.”    

The 2015 "Best of LegalTimes" Reader Survey included nearly 2,000 Washington, DC area readers who cast votes for their favorite vendors in 71 categories.  In a statement to the legal community, Kenneth A. Gary, Vice President and Group Publisher of The National Law Journal & LegalTimes, said, “To compete and win in today’s legal market, you have to work hard and exercise sound judgement.  Based on your votes, the companies and products highlighted in the following pages are excelling at keeping the industry moving forward and their clients in the winning column.”  In addition to winning top honors for "Best Legal & Litigation Support Staffing" found on page 17, Legal E is also recognized as a finalist for “Best DC Based Legal Recruiter” which is also found on page 17 of the LegalTimes Reader's Rankings insert of the NLJ’s November 23, 2015 issue.  Other categories in the survey will include: Best E-Discovery Consultant, Best Time and Billing Software, Best Telecommunications Provider, Best Court Reporting Service, Best Document Management Provider, Best PR Firm, etc.  To view the entire list of results, please go to http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/flipbook/BLT2015/BLT2015.html

About Legal E:

Founded in 2003, Legal E is one of DC's fastest growing legal employment service providers.  As a certified Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) business, Legal E is dedicated to providing area law firms, corporations and non-profits with highly qualified attorneys, paralegals, technical and support staff for both contract and direct-hire services.  To learn more about Legal E, please visit www.mylegale.com.

 

Contact:   Jeanette Derby

Phone:     202-319-1500

Email:      jderby@mylegale.com

Award News Update

LEGAL E is pleased to announce the following: